Having left Brisbane early Thursday morning, I arrived around 17 hours later to Kathmandu and stopped over in Guangzhou (again), China. The flight was pretty good apart from a cranky bitch on my second flight who yelled at me and dobbed me in for having my phone on. I was due to stay at Alobar 1000, a hippy hangout for travellers which id pre booked online and I really couldn't wait to check in. It was midnight when I arrived and I worried that the hostel may not be open this late but following a quick prepaid taxi ride, it was. I had met a girl from my flight in Guangzhou and after having a coffee together, we arranged to meet up around Kathmandu or Pokhara which was pretty cool!
My hostel was bright yellow and green and had a real rasta feel with it's cosy rugs laid out on the rooftop floor. There was a restaraunt with pretty cheap food and beer and there were many tourists hanging around chatting and planning adventures in the cosy booths. The next morning I picked a cute rooftop restaurant to have some food and chai while planning my day. I spent some time wandering the streets and getting information about Tibet/Bhutan tours in the many travel agents scattered around. I had initially deciding to go to Swayambhunath aka Monkey Temple (can you guess why?) but instead was guided towards Durbar Square where I was encouraged to see first. After declining one guide, I eventually said yes to the second young boy who was very knowledgeable and funny. We spent a couple of hours visiting many of the temples in the square including visiting the god of alcohol, the hippy temple (60s rockerstars used to hang here and smoke weed back in the day) and gazing at all the different architecture.
After a lot of laughs and a cup of Nepali tea, we finished the tour and I headed off back towards my hostel, stopping at the various shops along the way and even got two random dreadlocks at tattoo parlour I spotted along the way!. Back at the hostel I met two girls Katherine and Siobhán from England and we decided to take the free Naplese language class on the rooftop. After learning a few words we then took ourselves and our hungry bellies to the rooftop restaraunt where we had some Everest beers and food with Adam from Australia. We chatted about travels for ages and I loved being in the surrounding once again.
The next day I spent walking through the city to another part of town to visit Swayambhunath the monkey temple. I roamed passed very poor parts of town but still the people smiled and seemed content. I was welcomed by everyone along the way and had various chats with people, one man outside the temple gates even told me his dream of going to live in Holland and riding around on his bike over there, he was planning to leave in march and I wished him luck. He was a tour guide and even though I declined his services, like many before, he had no problem with that and wished me a good stay in Nepal. This was the sheer difference between Nepal and India that I had come to realise. Bartering only got you so far because they won't push you, people won't stare at you in the strests and if you decline a service it's not a big deal at all, nobody will chase you down the street. I liked this!
I took photos, did some Xmas shopping at the stalls at the top of the many many steps and even had another great chat with a shop owner who gave me a Nepali tea while I browsed. We chatted for a while and I was on my way with a bunch of gifts for family and friends. That evening the girls and I had some dinner and had a beer on the rooftop while laughing historically at Adams travel stories and our own political arguments. I retreated to bed having booked a bus to Pokhara the next morning which I would be up super early for. Luckily the bus stop was the street over from the hostel. Kathmandu was a pretty cool city and I was amazed by it's chilled out vibe, just like id read about before.
Next stop- 7hrs to Pokhara